Kids! Singing and dancing all cute to Wiggles in the back of the car one minute, covered in apple juice and rice crackers the next. As a parent, you're no doubt accustomed to the non-stop mess that kids seem to create – leaving destruction in their path. But when it comes to your car, which might be your only haven in those few moments you get to yourself when they fall asleep in the back, you want to make sure it stays clean and stink-free. And the best way to do that is to regularly clean your kid's car seat.
Thankfully car seats are designed to be pretty easy to clean, at least – most of them are anyway. They have removable covers, and they're generally easy enough to clip in and out of the vehicle for an intensive clean. If you're ready to get cleaning, here's what you need to know.
Here are a few tips before you start:
- 1.Don't wait. You need to start cleaning the mess as soon as possible after it occurs. Obviously if you're in the middle of a highway when the Slushie pops open and red coloured drink soaks the seat, you can't pull over and clean it straight up. But you should try as soon as it is safe to pull over, or once you get home or to your destination.
- 2.Check the seat's manual. Car seats are quite particular when it comes to meeting regulations, so you don't want to do anything that might jeopardise the legalities or effectiveness of the seat. The manual should include cleaning instructions so you can be sure you don't mess it up.
- 3.Don't go too heavy. Although a pressure cleaner might seem like a good way to get rid of the vomit leftovers and stink fast, it can actually damage the seat. So you want to make sure you're not putting the seat at risk of reduced safety.
What You'll Need
You really only need three things to get started with cleaning the kid's car seat:
Important Tip: you want to avoid using harsh chemicals.
Step By Step Guide
Here's what you need to do:
- Vacuum. Do this before you take the cover off the seat as it will help prevent the mess ending up on your car floor.
- Remove the covers. Try to do this without having to remove it from the car completely, unless you know how to reinstall the seat properly.
- Clean the covers. You can do this either with a cloth and cleaning solution, through hand washing or by putting it in the washing machine. Check the instructions to see what will work best.
- Clean the straps and buckles. Using your cloth and cleaning liquid mixed with warm water, give the straps, harnesses and buckle a good wipe over.
- Clean the frame. Spray the frame down with a cleaning spray, then using your scrubber to get rid of any hard to remove food or stains. Follow up by wiping over with your sponge as well.
- Air dry it. This will help you to rid the cover and seat of any possible mould or smells.
- Reassemble your nice, clean car seat and – if necessary – install it into the car ready for your next road trip.
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